Thurstable and Winstree Team Ministry

serving the parishes of Tolleshunt Knights with Tiptree, Great Braxted, Copford, Easthorpe, Messing, Inworth,
Layer de la Haye, Layer Breton with Birch, and Layer Marney

The 'Layer' Parishes: Layer de la Haye • Layer Breton with Birch • Layer Marney


C of E logoOur three parishes serve the Essex villages of Layer de la Haye, Birch, Layer Breton, and Layer Marney. We have a close working relationship with two of the other parishes in our benefice, Copford and Easthorpe. We are part of the Church of England and our parishes are situated in attractive rural settings, just south of Colchester.

We welcome everyone who would like to join us for our services of worship, or our social events, regardless of the stage he or she has reached on their own spiritual journey. Meeting and worshipping together are essential parts of christian faith and life.

On this website you can find a range of information about our parishes and their activities.
Lower down this page are links to the main pages on the site, each with a brief explanation of content.
If you would like to suggest additions to our pages, please contact the webmaster.

St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye - The sanctuary
St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye - The Sanctuary

TWTMlogoThe Benefice of Thurstable and Winstree and its Ministry Team

The three 'Layer' parishes are part of the Benefice of Thurstable and Winstree. The other six parishes in the benefice are Copford, Easthorpe, Tolleshunt Knights with Tiptree, Great Braxted, Messing and Inworth.


The Team Rector, with overall responsibility for leading ministry in the benefice, is The Revd Anne-Marie Renshaw.

Team Vicar: This post is currently vacant (from 5th July 2021) following The Revd Lydia Smith's move to a post in the Diocese of Ely.

Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

To discuss a baptism, wedding or funeral please contact the Team Rector, The Revd Anne-Marie Renshaw.

Useful information for those considering a wedding in any of the churches in our benefice can be found on the page Wedding Information for Enquirers

Safeguarding Statement

We are committed to Safeguarding children and young people and vulnerable adults.

The PCCs have adopted the Church of England’s policies and best practice on safeguarding which may be found on the Church of England’s website:

Details of our Parish Safeguarding Representatives are:
Layer de la Haye: Anne Hughes, Tel: 01206-734168; Email:
Layer Marney and Layer Breton with Birch: Judy Bancroft - Tel: 01206-330067; Email:

News(see also our Forthcoming Events page)

Public Worship and Private Prayer in our Churches

Following Lydia's move to Duxford, it has been necessary to review our pattern of Sunday services. Details of future services are posted on the Forthcoming Events page.

Four of our five churches are open for private prayer on the days and at the times shown below . These are subject to review as circumstances change.

Weekly Newsletter for Week Commencing Sunday, 19th September

The newsletter (in PDF format) for the Layer, Copford and Easthorpe parishes for the above Sunday can be viewed and/or downloaded by using this link: Weekly Newsletter.

Sunday Services on Zoom

9:30am Family Communion at St Luke, Tiptree
Join in the service at St Luke's church on Zoom from Sunday 18th July.

Zoom logon details are available from:
  Christine Hall, Team Administrator - Email: , or from
  The Revd Anne-Marie Renshaw, Team Rector - Email:

Covid Update - Message from Anne-Marie, Team Rector

Dear Brothers and Sisters

This week (w/c July 19th) we have moved to a new phase in which our government is no longer telling us by law what we can and cannot do, but is asking us all to exercise personal responsibility in the choices we make about our actions. There are no longer any legal limits on numbers attending church services nor are there any social distancing requirements.

I am aware that there are many people who are longing for things to go back to how they were before this pandemic and who want church to "go back to normal". I am equally aware of those who are feeling anxious and vulnerable and who are now feeling less safe going out than they were a week ago. There are a number of people who have not been back to church at all and will be less likely to come back if they do not feel church is safe.

As Christians, we have a particular calling to live not for ourselves, but for others, to put the needs of others first and to be mindful of the needs of the most vulnerable in our community. Over the past week, our PCCs have consulted together to put in place a plan to move ahead with caution and to make changes to our present arrangements slowly and gradually.

For this reason we are asking everyone to continue to wear a face covering when you come to church, unless you are exempt. You will not need to book a place in advance and you can sit where you choose, but it will always be possible for you to sit at a distance from others if you wish to. We will continue not to shake hands at the Peace and to receive Communion as we have been doing in recent weeks. We will gradually re-introduce hymns, starting with just one or two per service. We will ask everyone to keep their face coverings on to sing. Each church will make its own decision about when to re-introduce hymns.

We will keep all our arrangements under review and will make changes if the number of cases in the local area increases or decreases dramatically. We will review all our arrangements at the end of August.

I want everyone to feel safe coming to church and I am grateful for the huge amount of work our churchwardens and vergers are doing to put safety measures in place.

Thank you for working with us to help everyone in our worshipping communities feel safe.


Our Churches Open for Private Prayer

Our churches are open for individual private prayer as follows:

St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye: Sundays and Wednesdays only, from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

St Mary the Virgin, Layer Marney: Sundays and Wednesdays only, from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

St Michael & All Angels, Copford: Every day from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

St Mary the Virgin, Easthorpe: Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

The above days and times are those effective as at 5th April 2021 but are subject to review. Please check our websites and Facebook pages for any changes.

If you are visiting any of our churches, please observe the government’s social distancing guidelines and use the hand sanitiser provided. To keep others safe, please do not enter if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Those who are shielding or self-isolating also should not visit.

Church Giving

Thank you to everyone who continues to give to our churches, by whatever means: it is much appreciated.

If you would like to help us with our costs by setting up a standing order or making payments direct (e.g. through internet banking) to one of our bank accounts, please contact your PCC Treasurer for the information you will need. (For Layer de la Haye parish this is Mrs Anne Hughes (01206-734168))

If you wish to make payments to the church of St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye, whether by cheque, standing order or direct debit, please note that the name of its bank account is now St John the Baptist Church, Layer de la Haye.

Site Map

Further Afield - Our Parishes in Context

Our parishes are in the Witham Deanery.

Witham Deanery is in the Diocese of Chelmsford. To learn more about our large Diocese which stretches from heavily populated East London to quiet rural Essex villages, visit the Chelmsford Diocesan Website.

Diocesan Bishop
Bishop Guli
The Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani
Bishop of Chelmsford
Area Bishop
Bishop Roger
The Rt Revd Roger Morris
Bishop of Colchester
Ruth Patten
The Ven Ruth Patten
Archdeacon of Colchester
Area Dean
Revd Simon Garwood
The Revd Simon Garwood
Witham Area Dean

Page updated: 18 Sep 2021 at 15:36